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Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison

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  • Timothy Cason

    ()

  • Tatsuyoshi Saijo

    ()

  • Takehiko Yamato

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies voluntary public good provision in the laboratory, in a cross-cultural experiment conducted in the United States and Japan. Our environment differs from the standard voluntary contribution mechanism because subjects first decide whether or not to participate in providing this non-excludable public good. This participation decision is conveyed to the other subject prior to the subjects' contribution decisions. We find that only the American data are consistent with the evolutionary-stable-strategy Nash equilibrium predictions, and that behavior is significantly different across countries. Japanese subjects are more likely to act spitefully in the early periods of the experiment, even though our design changes subject pairings each period so that no two subjects ever interact twice. Surprisingly, this spiteful behavior eventually leads to more efficient public good contributions for Japanese subjects than for American subjects. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2002. "Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(2), pages 133-153, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:5:y:2002:i:2:p:133-153
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1020317321607
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fairness; other regarding preferences; subject pools; culture;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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